Archive for October, 2021

Well I had to have the LP sized Two DVD Limited Edition release of “10 Babymetal Budokan” on import from Japan and here it is. The first DVD features seven songs from the first of the 10 shows (January 19 2021) and another six from the second show (January 20). The second DVD sports seven songs from the ninth concert (April 14) and another six from the final show (April 15). So you get to see performances from four of the 10 shows, which is not bad. Due to the restrictions of Covid-19, they had to let fewer people in, which meant that they would not be able to make the big bucks that a run of shows like this would normaly generate. In spite of this, they opted to go with a full blown show that cost them an absolute fortune. My guess is that they blew a large chunk of the money that they had collected out of the “Metal Galaxy” concerts and general sales of t-shirts etc, to be able to do this. If you think that Babymetal is a money grabbing kind of situation, think again. They celebrated their 10th Anniversary in style and they gave us all everything they had. Or could. I hope the sales of the official releases from all this can help them to generate enough income to secure future moves. A giving attitude deserves as much.

The Babymetal crew knows how to capture a show on film. Multiple cameras, including drones, are capturing every moment with military precision. As the girls dance away everything is captured without flaw and the editing is just incredible. Babymetal is both a visual and a sonic delight. Put them in their right element (a big headlining show) and what you get is a theatrical experience that is second to none. The musicianship is superb, but the musicians are part of the bigger picture, and they are not supposed to be the focal point. You see them every now and then, but the cameras are focusing (and rightly so) on the stars of the show. It is impossible not to be impressed with the passion that they put into every second of every song.

The end result is a show that takes you on a journey that is a feast on the senses. It is supremely powerful, highly emotional and so full of life. They deserve a medal for giving the Metal community such a phenomenal boost of new life. The openings of these DVDs are very different, but both are incredible to watch each in their own way. The amount of thought that has gone into this is next level. You just sit there and watch this unfold and they make it look so easy. Trust me, there is nothing easy here, hundreds of little details could derail this show. The fact that they can pull it off is quite remarkable. There are so many highlights on display here it is just silly, but the climax of the final show is really something else. Su-metal has a long history of hitting gongs on Babymetal shows, but here she gets to hit 10 of them as they suddenly appears at the end of the show. Each gong represents a piece of Babymetal history. Fans can recognise the symbols. This is a moment for the history books and it is pure magic. I have to ask myself, where is the competiton? No, really! Where is it? Babymetal kicks the shit out of the competiton and they are not only powerful as they execute these shows, but cute and polite and always smiling as well. They make it look so easy. Got to love that.

(My shots of said release, and a few snapshots captured from the action on screen – thank you Kalle for helping me secure a copy, much appreciated)


Babymetal sure celebrated the 10th Anniversary at the Budokan with a bang. Or 10 of them as a matter of fact. 10 shows. 10 symbolic gongs of each of the 10 phases of the Metal Resistance. After having seen the final moments of the final night at the Budokan on the “10 Babymetal Budokan Limited Edition” DVD release I have to say that it would be a dream come true if Babymetal added this magic moment of their incredible career on YouTube. I know that we have already got a great live version of “Road Of Resistance” on their official channel (dating back to 2015), but here we have them celebrating the journey in a very cinematic way, with Su-metal hitting the 10 gongs as they do their victory lap on the stage at the center of the arena. It is a moment of glory. Of passion. Unity. Excitement. It captures the very spirit of Babymetal. Not to mention the love for Babymetal.

Another wish on my Christmas list is that we get the “10 Babymetal Budokan” DVD as a world wide release. I would gladly buy a copy even if I have seen the Japanese edition. A new DVD for fans living outside of Japan is long overdue. Why not go for this one? The big celebration. I think we may see it happen.

(My shots, capturing some of the action as seen on the DVD)


Posted: October 31, 2021 in Books, Comics, Cool stuff

Halloween has arrived and this is a good excuse to raid the old library. Seen here is a couple of old school compilations from Marvel and DC, The Monster Of Frankenstein (Marvel) and The Witching Hour (DC). My generation were the lucky ones.

(My shots of said books)

Well I showcased the year 2006 in the Fanzine History series on this blog a few days ago and one of the titles that was mentioned was Raket Magasinet 2006 (translates to Rocket Magazine 2006). I had a piece on Black Sabbath with Tony Martin in it with some nice shots I took in Stockholm 1989 etc over six pages. The UK band LunarMile was featured on the first spread to go with this story, as the daughter of Tony Iommi, Toni Marie, handled vocals in it back in the day when this publication saw print. Then we are off with the history piece and the story on the Martin era, in which I defend Sabbath strongly.

I am not a photographer (I have always concentrated on writing), but I can handle a camera if I feel like having a crack at a job. I shot the Sabbath gig in Solnahallen in Stockholm on the “Headless Cross” tour, and took additional shots at the hotel. Some of these were later used in Martin Popoff´s book “Doom Let Loose” (2006) as well as in Garry Sharpe-Young´s “The Battle For Black Sabbath” (also 2006). I still enjoy using a shot every now and then on this blog.

I have always defended the non-Ozzy eras of Sabbath and back in 1997 I published a 19 page story on Sabbath 1978-1986 in Deep Purple Forever! 16 (Glenn Hughes cover). This piece in Raket Magasinet can almost be seen as a follow-up to that I guess. In any case, I figured that it would be fun to give you guys a glimpse of what I was up to in 2006. I suppose the reissue of “Tyr” on Vinyl next week had a little something to do with it as well.

(My shots of said Sabbath piece in Raket Magasinet 2006)

Babymetal´s runaway hit “Gimme Chocolate!!” has notched up 150,000,000 views on YouTube. It was added onto their channel on February 26 2014 and became a viral sensation right out the door. Within a few months, they had performed at major rock festivals in Europe and Canada, and toured with Lady Gaga Stateside. It was the beginning of a phenomenon that is still very much ongoing. They may not be everybody´s cup of tea (hello Sweden Rock Magazine), but they did put Kawaii Metal on the map and drew hundreds of thousands of new fans to Metal. They have had many hits since the days of “Gimme Chocolate!!” but it has to be said that this is their “Smoke On The Water”. The crowds just love this song. The video hit the 100,000,000 mark on March 9 2019 so it is still generating new interest in a steady pace. The video was actually filmed on December 21 2013 at the Makuharu Messe Event Hall in the greater Tokyo area (7,860 capacity), nearly coinciding with the 16th birthday of singer Su-metal. The other girls were 14 at the time. The soundtrack is from the recorded version as this song was performed with the Babybones mime backing band and not the Kami Band on this night. The real band was featured on the show though, and by the time they hit the Budokan for two shows in March 2014, they had fully replaced the Babybones theme. The history of Babymetal is complex, but they were going places fast and it is an incredible story. One has to remember that the girls were just kids, teenagers. The professionalism was already in place though. And a song about chocolate in Japanese changed the Metal world forever.

(My shot of a rather nice chocolate metal sign – bought for this very post a few months ago – with framed 2016 article from The Japan News in the back)

When The Skies Are Grey

Posted: October 29, 2021 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff

Labels are a funny thing. Marketed as Progressive Metal, I would personally rather call A Dying Planet Melancholy Rock. Or Dystopic Rock. It is good though. Well played, good singing. Mostly mid tempo stuff steeped in despair and beauty. The band hails from California and this is their second album. Check out the video for the title track on YouTube. Derek Sherinian (Whitesnake, Black Country Communion) guests on one of the tracks. Not bad at all.

(My shot of said CD)

UK publisher Mortons Media Group has published a 132 page magazine that highlights over 50 castles in Scotland. Some really astonishing shots in this one. Really interesting country I would say. This weekend I will dive into Outlander again (season 4). Apparently, the 10th Outlander book by author Diana Gabaldon is coming up (check out publishing dates for your country). It is called “Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone”.

(My shot of said magazine & DVD)

The Black Sabbath album “Tyr” (1990) is reissued on Vinyl on November 5. It is a classic album, and the Tony Iommi / Cozy Powell / Tony Martin / Neil Murray line-up was a great band. Maybe we can look forward to a few more Sabbath albums on Vinyl now from the 1980s and 1990s? I hope so.

(My shot of Tony Iommi, taken in Stockholm in 1989)

Commando 5483-5486

Posted: October 28, 2021 in Comics

Commando 5483-5486 is out today in the UK. Just search “Commando comics” should you want to subscribe.

(Covers courtesy of Commando)

Retro Stockholm

Posted: October 27, 2021 in Books, Cool stuff

Spotted this book and it turned out to be pretty interesting. Author Fredrik Kullberg presents establishments in the Capital that has not changed over the years in “Retro Stockholm” (ICA Bokförlag, 2013). Barber shops, restaurants, bars, second hand places, toy stores. There is something for everyone to discover in this book. It has been eight years since this was published but one can always check online if these places are still out there.

(My shot of said book)